UW Oshkosh

University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

Office of International Education (OIE)


National Student Exchange

What is the National Student Exchange?

The National Student Exchange (NSE) allows you, a UW Oshkosh full-time undergraduate, to "trade places" with a student who attends another institution through the NSE, a network of over 170 universities and colleges. Visit www.nse.org for details, policies, procedures, and a comprehensive list of participating institutions. With more than 170 colleges and universities from which to choose, you should be able to find a campus with just the right combination of courses, facilities, and environment to meet your academic and personal interests. As you consider the possibilities, notice that you also have the opportunity to travel beyond the United States, and study in Canada, Guam, Puerto Ricao and the US Virgin Islands!

How does it work?

By exchanging through the "Plan B model" you will pay tuition and student fees to UW Oshkosh, while all other fees such as housing and meal plans are charged to you by your hosting instution. If eligible, financial aid may be used. After financial aid dispurses at Oshkosh, your tuition will be covered for your exchange, and remaining money can be used to pay your host institution costs.

Students enroll full time in the host institution, pay housing and dining contracts on the host campus (if campus housing is available), and pay for books. If student fees at the host institution are accessed as a condition of enrollment (e.g., fees for laboratory courses, general service, computers, technology, and art and photography supplies) you will be responsible for paying the fees to the host campus. Full time enrollment allows you to participate in both the educational and cultural activities of the host institution with the same rights and privileges of native students.

Most students elect a full-year exchange; however, a student may choose to attend one semester or two quarters where applicable. However, your eligibility is limited to the equivalent of one academic year.

You may also choose to exchange as a "Linked Student"! This is a great opportunity that allows you and your friends to visit a campus together. Speak with the NSE Coordinator for details.

Application Process

  1. Study the NSE Directory, available in the UW Oshkosh Office of International Education, located in Dempsey Hall room 202.
  2. Visit the NSE Web site www.nse.org and select “Student” for detailed information on each campus and a list of frequently asked questions.
  3. Attend an Explore! or Information session. This will give you the opportunity to hear about the program and/or the application process for NSE and receive information about how to apply financial aid. The information session is not mandatory, but is highly recommended.
  4. You apply for exchange through the UW Oshkosh NSE coordinator, whose office is in the Office of International Education, located in Dempsey Hall 202. The following are required to complete the application process.
    • A $200 application fee made out to "UW Oshkosh."
    • A $180 Program fee made out to "UW Oshkosh." This fee is not refundable, even if you withdraw the application before placement (acceptance by the host institution), or if you later decline placement (acceptance by the host institution).
    • Application packet that can be downloaded off the NSE Program Application and Guide page
    • An up-to-date copy (a printout from TitanWeb is acceptable) of your University Transcript.
    • Two letters of recommendation.
    • A 500-word statement expressing your goals for going on exchange.
    • A copy of your passport (photo page only) if you are seeking placement in Canada.
    5. An interview with the NSE Coordinator.

Deadlines: NSE and Financial Aid Applications

Applications for placement to study at a NSE member institution will be accepted through the 3rd Friday in February. Because NSE coordinators will place students in early March each year, students who miss the application deadline will not be placed at this conference, and must then meet with the Oshkosh Coordinator to consider post conference placement opportunities.

February 13th, 2015 – Your NSE Application must be completed (Steps I, II & III) by this date. As soon as possible after January 1, file your FAFSA--indicating UW Oshkosh as your home campus. Do NOT put any other institution in your FAFSA.


What are the eligibility requirements?

  • Be enrolled full time at UW Oshkosh the semester prior to exchange
  • Have a cumulative 2.5 GPA (4.0 scale) or better
  • Be in good standing (academic, personal conduct, and financial) at UW Oshkosh.

What are my chances of placement at an institution I select?

Placement means a host institution accepts you to enroll as a NSE exchange student. The UW Oshkosh NSE coordinator does not make that decision. Most placements are made at the NSE conference in early March. Annually, 97 percent of the applicants are placed at one of their campus choices.

Placement probabilities are governed by the number of openings at an institution and the number of students seeking that location. Work with the NSE Coordinator to help you consider the best opportunity for placement, and remember you may only consider placement as a Plan B student!

What can I do to improve my chances of placement?

  • Thoroughly study campuses that interest you, paying the closest attention to course offerings so that your campus choices fit your interests and academic program.
  • Make sure to study campuses that accept students on the Plan B exchange, as Plan A institutions are not available to Wisconsin students.
  • Rank no less than three campuses at which you wish to be placed.
  • Be aware you will face stiff competition to be placed at campuses in popular locations, so have a reasonable back up university!
  • Be flexible in selecting your first, second, and third choices.

Will I be placed at more than one of my choices?

No. At the early March NSE placement conference you will not be placed at more than one institution of your choice, if you are placed at that time. For example, should you be placed at your second choice institution, the following will have happened: Your first choice institution did not place you; and your application to your third (and subsequent) choice institution will not have been made available to that NSE coordinator. Once placed the student’s application is no longer circulated. No student is placed at more than one institution.

Can I apply to participate if I am not a student at UW Oshkosh?

No. Students must be enrolled full time at UW Oshkosh during the semester prior to placement (acceptance by a host institution).

Can I apply to participate if I am not a student at all?


Credit Transfer

READ THIS SECTION CAREFULLY BEFORE YOU BEGIN THE APPROVAL PROCESS. If you intend to study at a NSE member institution you must follow the steps below in order to receive transfer credit for courses taken at the host institution. This process has been set up to serve you, UW Oshkosh, and the host institution. If you follow these directions, you will successfully arrange transfer credit before you enroll in courses at the host campus.

Step 1 – Begin this process while you are selecting three institutions you intend to list as your top three choices on the NSE application. Every institution in NSE has an online link to its catalog or bulletin that lists and describes all courses offered for credit. Please complete three copies of the Courses Work sheet, here you may find the 1st page and 2nd page. The Courses Work sheet helps you record all the essential information you will need BEFORE YOU MEET WITH ADVISERS who will then help you document an approved list for transfer credit to UW Oshkosh of courses you intend to enroll in and complete at the host institution. Fill out one Courses Work sheet for each institution you wish to consider for placement, and make sure to choose MORE courses than you think you might need. As not every university will allow you to enroll in classes at the same time, you may find that courses you need have already filled or been canceled that semester- so have many to choose from!

Step 2 – After you have completed the Courses Work sheets and BEFORE YOU MEET WITH ADVISERS, make an appointment with the NSE coordinator (for signatures on each Courses Work sheet).

Step 3 – Steps 1 and 2 must be completed before you seek prior approval for your courses and credit transfers, and idealy before the spring placement conference. This process will prevent misunderstandings later, and you will be confident that all the courses approved by UW Oshkosh for you to enroll in will transfer in specific categories within your degree program. AFTER THE NSE COORDINATOR SIGNS THE COURSES WORK SHEETS, CONTINUE WITH THE STEPS THAT APPLY TO YOU.


Step 4 – COURSES IN THE MAJOR: If you intend to enroll in courses in your major at the host institution, you must receive a signature from the department chairperson of your major confirming the equivalency of each course in your major you are planning to transfer to UW Oshkosh and count toward your degree program in your major department. Make an appointment with the department chairperson of your major before you meet with an academic adviser in the Undergraduate Advisement Resource Center in the Student Success Center. You will need to supply course descriptions (on the Courses Work sheets) to the department chairperson so that s/he can determine a UW Oshkosh course equivalent. If you do not intend to enroll in courses in your major at the host institution, you may skip Step 4. However, if later you change your mind, you must complete Step 4, and then you may have to complete subsequent steps.

Step 5 – APPROVAL OF NON-MAJOR COURSES. Make an appointment with an academic adviser the Undergraduate Advisement Resource Center, in the Student Success Center if you DO NOT INTEND to enroll in courses in your major at the host institution. Before the meeting pick up a copy of the Transfer Credit Prior Approval form and take the form to your appointment in the Admissions office in Dempsey 135.

Step 6 – APPROVAL OF MAJOR COURSES. After the department chairperson has approved (by signature on the Courses Work sheets) the course equivalencies, make an appointment with an academic adviser in the Undergraduate Advisement Resource Center in the Student Success Center. Before the meeting pick up a copy of the Transfer Credit Prior Approval form, and take the form to your appointment.

Step 7 – APPROVAL OF TRANSFER CREDIT. Bring the Courses Work sheets and the Transfer Credit Prior Approval form (see link in Step 6) to meet with the adviser. Your adviser will help you properly categorize course selections so that appropriate courses satisfy requirements of your degree program. You will want to discuss how the NSE study experience will fit into your current academic studies, any implications it may have regarding your graduation date, the types of courses that may be reasonable for you to attempt at another institution, and the timing within your degree program of study. Is fall semester better than spring? Is sophomore year better than junior year? Before going to your adviser it is your obligation to read the host university or college catalog or bulletin; all are available online through links at www.nse.org, and you must record all course information on the Courses Work sheets Your adviser must sign the Courses Work sheets. STEPS 1—7 (THOSE THAT APPLY TO YOU) MUST BE COMPLETED THE 3RD FRIDAY IN FEBRUARY.


Step 8 – FINAL APPROVAL OF TRANSFER CREDIT. After you are informed by the NSE coordinator that you have been placed at a host campus (by mid-March) you must obtain transfer credit approval by completing the ADVISING AGREEMENT APPLICATION. Make an appointment with the academic adviser in the Undergraduate Advisement Resource Center in the Student Success Center who helped you to explore preliminary approval for transfer credit. After meeting with the adviser, submit the singed Advising Agreement Application to the transfer student coordinator in the Admissions office (Dempsey 135). A copy of the completed form will be sent to the Undergraduate Academic Advising Center, NSE coordinator’s office, and to you for your records. KEEP THIS APPROVAL DOCUMENT.

Generally, credits taken at accredited universities and colleges in the United States are transferable. Credits taken through programs that are independent of other accredited universities or colleges in the United States may not be transferable.

At the end of this process, you should have answered these questions:

  • Will courses I am interested in taking transfer as requirements toward my major or minor?
  • Can I be flexible with my courses on exchange?   If not, consider getting more courses approved to ensure full time status.  
  • Will courses transfer to fulfill general education requirements? * Will courses transfer to fulfill other program, department, or college-specific requirements?
  • Will courses transfer as electives?
  • Will I receive the correct number of credits per course so that I do not have too few credits toward a particular requirement for my major, minor, general education, or licensing coursework needed to graduate?
  • Will I receive enough credits to be considered full-time for financial aid and health insurance purposes? REMEMBER: YOU MUST ENROLL FULLTIME AND REMAIN ENROLLED FULLTIME AT THE HOST INSTITUTION.

What credits can I earn if I study at a NSE institution?

Your proposed list of courses must be approved prior to and as a part of the placement process. Before you proceed, please read and sign the Transfer Credit Policy sheet. This process is your obligation and takes time. Your placement at the host campus is not official until you have obtained the required signatures from advisers.

It is your obligation to study carefully course offerings of all institutions you hope to enroll in. Start weeks before the application deadline.

You will need approval from three separate sources: 1) your college academic adviser (signature), 2) your department chairperson (signature) if the courses are to be applied to your major, and 3) the Transfer Student Coordinator in Admissions, in Dempsey Hall.

When you are accepted (placed) at the host institution you must complete and sign a Placement Acceptance Form, and final course transfer agreement. The NSE coordinator will work with you at this point.

To complete this process successfully, your most important obligation is to obtain a signed copy of the Academic Advisement Agreement, provided by the NSE Coordinator. You must provide full and accurate course information to your advisers and the Transfer Student Coordinator so that they can promptly advise and assist you.

At the end of the exchange experience, students will be required to provide an official transcript from the host institution to UW Oshkosh. Course credits and grades will then be transferred to UW Oshkosh. If you do not pay your remaining balance at your hosting institution, your transcript may be withheld.

Will I be able to choose any course I want from the host institution?

You will be able to choose only courses for which you have met prerequisites. Carefully study course selections on each institution’s on-line catalog. Record exactly course numbers, titles, descriptions, and their prerequisites before you make appointments with your advisers and the Transfer Student Coordinator in Admissions. Without these details your advisers and the Transfer Student Coordinator will not be able to help you. Also, be sure to provide a copy of your transcript to your hosting institution, as proof of having met prerequisites.

What requirements can I fulfill?

General education requirements, as well as courses for your major, or other electives as approved by your academic advisors, and the transfer credit evaluator. 

Can I audit courses?

No. You must be enrolled full time in courses that will transfer to your program of study: General education requirements, degree requirements, requirements in your major or minor, or electives.

What happens when I am placed?

After you are informed of placement, you will meet with the NSE Coordinator to sign 3 copies of the PAF to confirm placement, and review necessary procedures and guidelines.

1 copy will be sent to your host coordinator, who will then forward enrollment materials that usually include:

  • A housing application
  • A host-campus admissions form
  • Registration information.

All forms must be completed and returned by stated deadlines, or you will not be able to enroll in classes and the host institution may deny your placement.

In addition, at the end of the term preceding exchange you must have maintained all eligibility requirements applicable at the time of placement.

Finally, you must also complete a written Academic Advising Agreement. Placement will not proceed until this is signed and complete.

Financial Aid & Grants

Is financial aid available for NSE?

Financial Aid may be available to you but you must apply using the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) or FAFSA on the Web at www.fafsa.ed.gov for the school year during which you wish to be considered for financial aid. Remember that your need increases when your expenses for the semester increase so, even if you are not currently receiving financial aid, you may want to consider applying for it for the academic year during which you plan to study away through NSE. Financial aid for study through NSE is determined in the same way as it is determined when attending classes on campus with the exception that the additional costs of studying away are incorporated into your budget and disbursement dates may be adjusted. Financial aid that you would normally receive as a UW Oshkosh student--and additional Stafford loans if you have not already used your program maximums for the year--will be available to you. PLUS loans for parents and alternative loans may also be available.

How do I apply for financial aid?

In order to apply for financial aid, you must:

  1. File the FAFSA for the appropriate academic year. The summer session begins the academic year. A paper copy of this form can be picked up from the Financial Aid Office, or fill out the FAFSA on line at --click on Apply for Financial Aid at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
  2. Make an appointment with the Director of Financial Aid.
  3. If you plan to study away through NSE and wait until the week of the NSE application deadline to turn in your forms, you will not know your financial aid status until AFTER the application deadline. If you are counting on financial aid in order to study through NSE and you ask us to HOLD your application pending financial aid, your application will be incomplete and therefore not considered for placement by NSE coordinators at the early March conference. If you NEED financial aid in order to participate, you should turn in your NSE application as soon as possible after January 1st. NOTE: If you plan to receive Financial Aid for your study away through NSE, you must show in advance that you plan to transfer at least twelve credits back to UW Oshkosh at the end of each semester (maximum two) you study at a NSE host institution.

Will the non-refundable NSE application fee be figured in to my costs for financial aid purposes?

The non-refundable fee will be figured into your costs for financial aid purposes.

When will I receive my financial aid award?

Awards cannot legally be paid out until the beginning of the semester during which you study away through NSE.

How can I apply my award to my study abroad program fees?

If you study away through NSE, your financial aid will automatically be applied toward your UW Oshkosh tuition and student fees on your student account at UW Oshkosh. If you are awarded Financial Aid and the award will cover all of the UW Oshkosh tuition and student fees due for your study away at an NSE institution, you will not need to make any payments toward your UW Oshkosh tuition and student fees and you can ignore OIE payment deadlines. If the award will not cover all of the UW Oshkosh tuition and student fees due for your study away program, you will need to pay the difference between the cost of tuition and fees and your financial aid award by the UW Oshkosh payment deadline.

Are scholarships available for study away through NSE?

Some businesses, organizations and agencies award scholarships for specific areas of study or specific regions of the world. Start your scholarship search at http://www.uwosh.edu/oie/studyabroad/scholarship.php.

How do I access financial aid that exceed costs billed by the University?

The amount awarded in financial may exceed the costs directly billed by the University. In this case, you will need to make arrangements with the Cashier's Office to have this money direct deposited into a personal bank account so that you have access to it at the host campus. To have your funds deposited directly to your bank account after your check arrives at the University, log onto TitanWeb, select "Finances", select "Direct Deposit", select "Direct Deposit" again (in the column on the left), select "continue" and then follow the instructions to enter your bank routing number and bank account number. Be sure to print a confirmation page for your records. Complete this process BEFORE YOU LEAVE. Call Student Accounts at 920-424-1332 if you have questions.

Who should I contact if I have questions about financial aid for NSE study?

If you are a UW Oshkosh student, contact the Director of Financial Aid Office at UW Oshkosh at (920) 424-3377.

Fees & Payments

Can I pay NSE fees by credit card?

No. However, you may use one of the paper checks which credit card companies often issue to customers periodically to pay your UW Oshkosh tuition and student fees. Be aware that there is usually a charge by the credit card company that will be billed to you (often 3%). Limits to this charge are often in the range of $25 to $50, i.e., if you write a check against your credit card for $1000 and the added charge is 3% or $30, your total bill will be $1,030.

Will I receive an invoice, or do I need to remember the payment deadlines on my own?

You will be billed for tuition and student fees at UW Oshkosh just before the semester at UW Oshkosh begins, just as you normally are billed while in residence. It is your responsibility to make additional payments according to the payment deadlines on your hosting campus.

Who should I make my check payable to?

Make checks payable to The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

Where should I pay my study abroad fees?

The check for your application fee must accompany your NSE application. Make an appointment with the NSE coordinator in the Office of International Education. The coordinator will officially file your application when you pay the application fee, and the coordinator will deposit your check with the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

Your UW Oshkosh tuition and student fees, including the application fee, must be paid at the Cashier's Office on the second floor of Dempsey. To mail payments, use the following address: Cashier's Office, UW Oshkosh, 800 Algoma Blvd., Oshkosh, WI 54901.

Passports & Visas

I intend to study in Canada; will I need a passport?

Yes. For information on the passport and visas visit the Office of International Education homepage. If you have other questions regarding passports, visit the U.S. State Department on line.


Personal Health Insurance Plan

Sickness and accident coverage for you while you study outside Wisconsin may be included in your personal health insurance plan. Most insurance companies require you to be a full-time student in order to stay on your parents’ health insurance policy. If you are not enrolled in classes at UW Oshkosh for a full semester (i.e., you are transferring credits back to UW Oshkosh at the end of your study at a NSE host institution), and you are not enrolled for full-time credit through the NSE host institution, this may affect your eligibility to remain on your parents' insurance. You will, however, be expelled by the NSE host institution if you drop below 12 credits. Information on your enrollment status is automatically extracted from UW Oshkosh records and sent to a Clearinghouse, which many insurance companies monitor. You will show up in the Clearinghouse as “not enrolled” at UW Oshkosh since you are not enrolled for courses AT UW OSHKOSH, and your eligibility may be affected.

In order to avoid problems, contact your insurance company BEFORE leaving for your study destination. Your insurance company will either give you a form or a list of information that they need. You can fax this form/list to the NSE host institution for verification of full-time status while studying there; we recommend that you work through the host institution NSE coordinator.

Other types of Insurance

Some NSE institutions may also require you to purchase local student health insurance through the university or college. This requirement, if applicable, is available on-line at www.nse.org under institutional information for campuses that require this additional health insurance.

Transportation & Parking How will I get to the airport?

You are responsible to arrange your own flights and transportation to and from the airport.

O’Hare: http://www.ohare.com/

Milwaukee: http://www.mitchellairport.com/

Minneapolis/St. Paul: http://www.quickaid.com/airports/msp/

Communicating with the OIE

Why do I have to use my UW Oshkosh e-mail address when communicating with the OIE?

Once you have applied for NSE, virtually all communication from the NSE coordinator and the Office of International Education (OIE) will be done via e-mail to groups of students or to you personally. Because we send to groups, many e-mail programs send our group messages to the cyber trash without you knowing about it; as a matter of fact, you would never know. Therefore, the NSE coordinator and the OIE will only use your UW Oshkosh e-mail address. The NSE coordinator and the OIE will not accept hotmail addresses under any circumstances, nor will they respond through that environment. After you are placed at a host institution all official communication from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, the NSE coordinator, and the Office of International Education will be through your UW Oshkosh student email account.

I've never used my UW Oshkosh email address before. How do I do this?

You can learn to use your UW Oshkosh email address through web-mail (https://webmail.uwosh.edu/). Should you have trouble accessing your account, call the Academic Computing help desk at (920) 424-3020. Do this well before your date of departure to your host campus.

Contact Information

Who can I contact for more information?

For questions related to the NSE, stop at the Office of International Education in Dempsey 202, email nse@uwosh.edu, or call 424-0775.


This page was updated on May 17th, 2012